Historical information

A mangle or wringer is a mechanical laundry aid consisting of two rollers in a sturdy frame, connected by cogs and, in its home version, powered by a hand crank or electrically. A household mangle/wringer could be attached to a bench for easier use.
The washing process itself involved lifting the items from the cold soak and wringing or mangling each item before transferring them, with more soap flakes, into the copper for boiling. Items that remained soiled, even after an overnight soak, were rubbed on a scrubbing board before being transferred to the copper. The clothes mangle would be used to squeeze out all the excess water. Clothes would then be hung out to dry on a clothes line, or laid over a clothes-horse next to the kitchen or living room fire.
This one was owned by the mother of Bob Clarke, an Orbost resident.


This item is an example of the typical laundry equipment used by families in the Orbost district in the early 20th century.

Physical description

Clothes mangle [wringer] which has a wooden and metal turning handle. It has a ratchet and 2 tap screws for pressure. It has of two rollers in a frame, connected by cogs and is powered by a hand crank.

Inscriptions & markings

On top - "No. Hardwood Rolls 124"
Front - "Household Clothes Mangle
Steel ball bearings
The American Wringer Company
New York USA"